Ready for a glow-up?
If your skin is prone to sensitivity and breakouts, you probably avoid any active ingredients that could upset the apple cart, so to speak.
Now that all our social calendars are still looking pretty sparse however, this quiet time could provide a window for a little skincare experimentation.
And if you ask a dermatologist, the one product (besides sunscreen, of course) we should all be using to fight the signs of ageing is retinol, also known as Vitamin A. It’s a genius little ingredient that encourages cellular turnover while you sleep, revealing the soft, supple skin underneath.
It’s an easy upgrade but the transition can cause some peeling and redness as you build up a tolerance to it. Now, when you can hang out indoors and avoid make-up for a few days, is the perfect time to get started.
How to get started
Start with a low dose once or twice a week on non-consecutive nights (you can apply it everywhere, from your neck to your forehead and under your eyes). After three weeks, you can switch to a higher percentage once you know your skin can tolerate it.
Retinol can also make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation so limit sun exposure always apply minimum SPF 15 every morning.
Here are three excellent retinol buys in three different price ranges:
SMOOTHING STEAL: The Inkey List Retinol Serum
Buy it: €11.50 here
Released slowly, this cult serum helps target the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with less risk of irritation. It also boosts overall skin clarity and uneven skin tone for a brighter, more even complexion.
The best bit? This 1% retinol formula is suitable for all skin types (use a pea-sized blob at night after cleansing and toning and before other serums) and it’s a bargain at less than €12.
MID-PRICE MARVEL: No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate
Buy it: currently on offer at €25 here
Nearly 100,000 people signed up to be the first to try Boots’ No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate when it launched at the end of May. The brand’s first-ever night concentrate actively targets the visible sign of ageing and dullness to kick start surface skin renewal from the very first application.
The name is actually a little misleading (it contains 0.3% Pure Retinol, not 1.5%) but there’s no denying the smoothing power inside the tube. The formula is a blend of retinol, Matrixyl 3000 Plus – No7’s anti-wrinkle peptide technology, retinol optimiser – an intelligent slow-release oil encapsulation system for enhanced delivery throughout the night and retinol soother, which helps to calm the skin while the rest of the ingredients get to work.
LUXURY LINE ERASER: Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil
Buy it: €83 here
Dermalogica’s new Retinol Clearing Oil is the first product to cleverly tackle two problems: adult acne and accelerated skin ageing, two issues that were once thought of as mutually exclusive, and for which no unified treatment approach exists.
The oil, which you pat onto clean skin six drops at a time at night, combines salicylic acid to rapidly clear and prevent breakouts, and potent, time-released retinol to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Argan, rosehip seed and golden jojoba oils minimise irritation and leave the skin with a noticeable dewy glow in the morning.
The effect is visible after three nights’ use; you should begin to see spots clear up, pores become minimised and fine lines begin to blur. Stick with it for more noticeable results and long-term benefits.